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How to Install Drain Pipes

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If left unattended seasonal standing water or any swampy sections around your home can cause damage to your house foundations, driveways and even paving. It can eventually lead to dry rot, which in its extremity can be time-consuming and costly to repair. Any water that runs constantly on your land or even runoff caused by construction should be diverted as soon as it’s noticed to ensure little damage is caused.

You will need:

  • Gravel or rock filler
  • PVC drainage pipe
  • Dry well
  • Measuring tape
  • Hand saw
  • Roof felt or fibreglass sheeting
  • Trench shovel

Step One:

Before digging any trenches first decide where the water will be sent. It should be sent to a pond, stream, drainage ditch or dry well. If possible it is best for it to be added to your local storm water system. Whatever area it is sent to it must be lower than the problem area.

Measure and cut the PVC piping to fit then start the trench. It should be 60 to 90cm deep and slope downwards at the rate of 15 to 20cm every 20 metres.

Step Two:

Fill the trench with gravel or rock filler to the depth of about 15cm. Then connect the pipes and lay on top of the gravel.

Cover the pipes with more filler or, if easier, with a layer of roof felting.

If the soil is extremely sandy it is recommended to wrap the piping in roof felt or sheets of fibreglass. This prevents the fine sand from clogging up the pipe.

Step Three:

Replace the soil, lawn or paving.

Step Four:

If a dry well is needed, these can be bought as kits from your local hardware or you can build your own.

To build your own dry well, dig a hole at least 6 metres from the foundation of your house and deep enough for an oil drum or similar container to be covered by 50cm of sand.

Cut off both ends and perforate all round with holes for drainage. Also cut an opening for the pipe to enter through. Install in the hole, connect the drainage pipe and fill with rocks. Cover the top with a concrete slab and fill in the hole.

Keep in mind that over a long period of time a dry well will be filled with sediment and will need to be replaced.

Helpful Hint:

If the runoff can not be diverted into your public storm water system before installing a dry well consider using the water to fill a pond or water your garden. Consult your local council for any regulations and to get any helpful advice. In this way you can save money on watering your own garden and install a pretty water feature as well.

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